From: Reuters
Published March 24, 2008 10:42 PM

GE in talks for 40 to 50 Boeing planes: Bloomberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric Co <GE.N>, the world's No. 1 aircraft lessor, is in talks with Boeing Co <BA.N> to buy 40 to 50 of its 737 jetliners to meet demand from airlines upgrading their fleets, Bloomberg said on Monday, citing a person familiar with the negotiations.

Based on a list price of $70.5 million for a next-generation 737-800 model, the order could be valued as high as $3.53 billion, Bloomberg said.

GE Commercial Aviation Services in December ordered 53 of the 737-800 model, the newswire said. About 55 percent of GE's fleet are narrow-body aircraft like the 737, according to a September presentation from the division's chief, Henry Hubschman. Boeing forecasts the market as the largest over the next two decades.

Todd Blecher, Boeing spokesman, declined to comment on the story. Rick Kennedy, GE representative, could not be reached for comment.

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The 737 is Boeing's most widely sold aircraft. It has an order backlog of more than 1,800 planes valued at more than $130 billion, Bloomberg said. Chicago-based Boeing has delivered more than 5,500 737s since the jet first flew in 1967.

(Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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